How Much Do Solar Panels Cost?

The price of your new solar system will, of course, depend on how big the installation is. Or to put it another way – how many kiloWatts (kW) of solar panels you choose to install will affect how much it costs.

You’ll be pleased to know that prices in Australia have dropped significantly since I started SolarQuotes back over a decade ago (when a piddly installation with 1kW of solar panels cost $10,000!) – particularly pricing for larger systems. You’ll get far more capacity for the same money.

And despite what you may have heard, the price you pay in 2020 for a PV system is still heavily subsidised by the Australian government-run solar rebate scheme.

The rebate fluctuates based on the value of things called STCs, which are explained in more detail on the page I linked to above. With the current price of STCs as at August 2020 you are looking at up-front savings of about $570 per kW installed. 

Here’s how the pricing works out for a typical 6.6kW system, including installation: 

(Note: these solar panel prices are very approximate and assume quality components are used in the installation. To get accurate pricing for your particular situation, I would advise getting 3 quotes from local installers I’ve pre-vetted.)

Typical cost of an installed 6.6kW solar system: $9,500
Government Rebate:   $3,760
Cost to you for 6.6kW of solar power: Approx $5,740

Whether a 6.6kW system is an appropriate size installation for you or not is a good question. In 2020, it’s the minimum I’d recommend you put on your roof, assuming it can fit. My longer reasoning is here.

Approximate Costs Of Solar Systems After the Rebate

The range of prices in Australia below is mainly down to the quality of the hardware used in the installation. To use a car analogy (as most people are more familiar with car brands than solar power brands), expect the lower price range to be “Kia” level brand and the upper cost to be a “BMW” level brand. I’ll leave you to decide if BMWs are worth paying more for than Kias!

Approximate cost of a good quality solar system installation with Tier 1 solar panels (fully installed) as at August 2020 in Australia:

System size Number of panels Cost Range (August 2020)
1.5kW 5 $2,500 – $4,000
2kW 7 $3,000 – $4,500
3kW 10 $3,500 – $5,000
4kW 14 $4,000 – $6,000
5kW 17 $4,500 – $8,000
6kW 20 $5,000 – $9,000
6.6kW 22 $5,200 – $9,200
7kW 23 $6,500 – $10,000
8kW 27 $7,500 – $11,000
10kW 33 $8,000 – $12,000

Note that the above assumes the use of 300W solar panels, so the final solar panel capacity may be a little more or less than the figures mentioned above.

Microinverter/Optimiser Cost

If you want a good quality microinverter or optimiser system installed, expect to add around 20% in cost to the above price ranges.

Budget Inverters

If you want to downgrade to a reputable budget inverter (e.g Sungrow or Goodwe), you may be able to save about $700 on these prices.

Finding the money

You may be looking at those prices and thinking: “Wow, that’s a lot of money to find!”, even with the rebate. I agree. Which is why it is important for Australians to understand the payback and cashflows involved with solar panels, so you can assess if the cost of an installation is going to be a worthwhile investment for you.

I should also point out that you can buy solar systems at prices much lower than those detailed above. But I would be wary of the quality of the components (not just the solar panels) and installation that you will get if the price seems too good to be true.

Whether you finance your system installation via savings or by adding it to your mortgage, at current interest rates, you may even find that your solar power system pays for itself immediately. By that I mean that the savings from your reduced bills may outweigh either the extra repayments or the lost interest on your savings. Again this depends on lots of variables – so do your research.

To explore if this would be possible in your situation, I’ve created a “no BS” solar payback calculator that lets you try out different options and see the overall solar energy savings and cash flows over the lifetime of your system.

If you’re considering installing solar panels for your home or business, SolarQuotes can help you get quotes from high-quality Australian installers quickly and easily:

>>Next: What Different Types Of Solar Panel Are Out There For You To Choose From? >>

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